C8 Motorsports driver Timothy Culp remembers what it’s like to be a grassroots racer, and that’s why it’s become so important for him to give back. This ultimately led to the creation of the brand-new C8 Motorsports Performance Bonus.
The cash award will be on the line for racers each race night for the remainder of the 2018 season at Tracey Clay’s I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“I’m very blessed to now have great equipment and a lot of supporters of my racing program,” said the 2018 World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Rookie of the Year candidate. “However, 14 years ago when I started racing, I had to scrounge together every penny I could find just to get the car to the track each week. Sometimes an extra $20 or $30 here and there is all that kept my racing program going. Now that I’m in a better place I’d like to give back to the grassroots drivers, who are in the same shoes that I once wore.”
With over 20 races still remaining on the 2018 docket at I-30 Speedway, Culp has stepped up to the plate to offer a nightly $100 bonus. The recipient of this bonus will be chosen by track staff based upon their driving performance throughout the night.
However, unlike many bonuses this special reward won’t necessarily be connected to a driver who parks their hot rod in Victory Lane. In fact, it represents much more.
“There might be a night where this bonus goes to a feature winner, but honestly, I’ve asked Tracey (Clay) and her staff to keep an eye out for that man or woman, who really puts on a show or overcomes adversity throughout the night,” Culp noted. “It doesn’t matter if you win or finish 12th. If you drove your butt off and left it all out there on the race track, I want you to be a leading candidate for the bonus at the end of the night.”
Any driver in any division, who competes in weekly racing series action at the ¼-mile, high-banked oval, will be eligible for the cash bonus on a nightly basis.
“I knew I wanted to do something to give back to the sport, but wasn’t sure exactly what direction to take,” Culp commented. “Then a couple of weeks ago, a local Street Stock racer came by my shop to buy some race fuel. While he was here, he made the comment that the last race night he had lost a brake caliper in his heat race, and didn’t have any spares, so he had initially decided to load up before the feature. However, he and his crew changed their mind at the last minute, and they went out and raced in the feature with no brakes, and they ended up getting like a Top-10 finish.
“The guy went on to say that they got like $50 for their finish, and that it was really cool because it bought all of their Waffle House dinner after the races,” Culp continued. “Right then and there, I thought to myself, ‘This is the kind of guy that we need to be targeting with some extra cash’. I mean $100 extra cash on a random race night could go a long way for some of the teams.”
Culp went on to note that while tracks offer the best payout they can, that most times there’s still not much money for racers to make.
I’m a big believer in karma, and this year is definitely going to be a challenging one for me. – Timothy Culp
“The race tracks pay all that they can afford for these divisions – especially the beginners – but the reality is that there’s just not a ton of money to be won. It’s just the nature of the game, so hopefully this can make a small difference for a different racer each week.”
Track promoter Tracey Clay was more than humbled when Culp called her with his idea.
“He called me one morning last week, and asked how many races we had left in the season,” Clay recollected. “I told him we had about 25 and he said, ‘Well, invoice me for $2,500, because I’d like to sponsor a weekly $100 bonus to help the track and the racers.’ I won’t lie, it about brought me to tears to have another racer displaying such an awesome act of generosity.”
While Culp is a Louisiana native, he now resides in Prattsville, Arkansas, with his wife Shannon. His house is about 45 minutes from I-30 Speedway, so he now considers the track to be his home.
“Throughout my career in every division that I’ve competed I’ve always enjoyed coming to I-30 Speedway to race,” Culp commented. “There’s a lot of great racers there, and usually the surface is in top-notch condition. More than that though, the Clay family has always gone out of their way to make everyone feel welcome. So, it means a lot for me to help them out in this small way.”
Clay echoes the mutual respect for her weekly racers.
“Sure, we might have those race nights where we all bicker and argue, but at the end of the day, this racing community is really something special,” Clay proudly stated. “We all have a special way of taking care of each other, and I’m truly grateful for folks like Timothy, who go that extra mile to support our family and this race track.”
While Culp and his C8 Motorsports team will be sponsoring the weekly award, they will rarely be on hand to see who earns it each week. For the 2018 season the 27-year-old competitor is looking to tackle the full World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series schedule. He’ll be competing in more than 40 events strewn across the United States. Along the way, he’ll be looking for experience, wins, and ultimately the Rookie of the Year title.
“I’m a big believer in karma, and this year is definitely going to be a challenging one for me. I’m likely going to be needing help from more experienced people from time to time. Hopefully, the good vibes I’m putting out by supporting grassroots racers will result in some good karma for me and my team when I need it the most,” Culp laughed.